The Jewel in World ARC 2019-20 Programme, Las Perlas

15 February 2019

The World ARC fleet were greeted by calm waters and spectacular white sandy beaches as they anchored in blueseas off the island of Contadora which is the most northern of the Las Perlas archipelago, situated 30 miles from mainland Panama. Participants had the chance to explore the island on foot or by golf buggy to see the islands unique flora and fauna and visit the small number of restaurants, hotels and local shops.

The hotel Mar y Oro was the venue for the World ARC Barbeque on the beach and prize giving for Leg 2, SantaMarta to San Blas. There was a relaxed atmosphere as participant’s sipped their sundowners overlooking the beautiful Cacique Beach. A delicious menu of shrimp and beef kebabs along with marinated chicken and a wide selection of salads and vegetables was eagerly enjoyed by all.

Then the fun of the speeches began. With everyone in jovial spirits the first prizes given out were awarded for the nearest ETA question which was won by Udo and Heike on Endo 2. The bonus question, what is the total age of all crew on board the fleet when crossing the start line at Santa Marta, was won by Lars and Laura Sweet Dream who guessed the exact total of 5,000 years.

The winners of the Multihull Division were; 1st Chubby Bunny, 2nd Charm and 3rd Danica I. The Monohull Division Class A; 1st Seaside, 2nd Tumi and 3rd Manihi. The Monohull Division Class B; 1st Chanto, 2nd Cassiopee W and 3rd Endo 2.

After the official awards, Hans and Astrid on Zwerver, having completed their participation within the World ARC, wished to address the fleet. Taking the microphone, Hans firstly thanked the yellow shirts for all their hard work and awarded the team with a bottle of sparkling wine. He then thanked all their fellow participants for a fantastic journey and he wished everyone well for their ongoing adventures.

Hans then invited George, skipper on Cabana, to join him on stage. Demonstrating the strong bond firmly in place between the World ARC 2019-20 fleet, George explained that in all great sporting events there was usually a ‘perpetual trophy’, an award that was passed on. Over a few beers it was decided between them that a blue jacket was to be purchased and awarded to a different participant, or boat, after each Leg of the Rally. Although named as ‘lucky’ there is no set rule to the passing on of the jacket, it can be awarded for multiple ideas which is at the discretion of the current holder of the blazer.

Having come up with the idea after Leg 1, there was a decision to nominate a winner retrospectively and this was awarded to Gemma on Aurora B for all her efforts in managing the SSB communication from St. Lucia to Santa Marta.

For Leg 2, the Blazer nominees were; Hope for overcoming engine issues in Shelter Bay, Aurora B for experiencing and fixing steering problems at sea after departing Santa Marta and Tintin for the misfortune of having the wrong antifoul put on their hull and sadly having to say goodbye to their crew due to an arm injury. The winner of the World ARC Jacket for Leg 2 went to Tintin. They are now the custodians of the Jacket and will decide on the nominees and winner at the end of the next Leg.

Today saw the start of Leg 3 from the Las Perlas Islands to the Galapagos which is a 850 NM journey. Light airs made for a colourful start with many of the fleet crossing the line under spinnaker. First over the line was Charm, closely followed by Nica and Makara of Exe.

With light winds forecast over the next couple of days it is likely to take the fleet a week to reach the island of San Cristobal where all the participants are looking forward to experiencing the magnificence of the Galapagos Islands.